SAS has set up a wide range of new departures in winter despite protests against the new passenger tax and worries about a decline in the number of tickets being purchased.
In its submission on the flight taxes which will come into force on Wednesday, SAS wrote that the tax would lead to lower demand and lower profitability, which initially would mean fewer air routes and flights and cuts in existing air routes.
Instead the airline will put in 270,000 new seats in the five-month winter program. The number of passengers is the equivalent to 1,500 SAS aircraft with all the seats filled up, Aftenposten writes. But there is a good explanation for this increase in traffic, according to information officer Knut Morten Johansen of SAS.
– We have generally seen good demand for tickets in this country. Because of this, we can increase our capacity. This winter program was planned before the introduction of the tax was adopted. That means there is some uncertainty as to how the market responds to this. If the volume we have based ourselves upon should be found to be wanting, we have to correct this and scale down the Route program, says Johansen.
He stressed that they have spoken critically of the tax on behalf of the entire aviation industry.
– I think other companies may have more problems with this tax than we do. We see there is a growth in sales and especially among business travelers, but we are curious about what the passenger developments ahead will be like, Johansen says
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today